Spin Cycle Red Ale
No-Li Brewhouse

Spin Cycle Red AleSpin Cycle Red Ale
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Bitter - English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #167
Ranked #38,923
3.69 | pDev: 13.01%
No-Li Brewhouse
Washington, United States
Spin Cycle Red AleSpin Cycle Red Ale
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 136 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Keepnitrl:
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Keepnitrl from Washington

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Sep 29, 2014
More User Reviews:
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #69 (October 2012):

A refreshing change of pace to run into a malt bomb and a very well balanced one to boot! The west coast is not all about ales with a heavy hand of hops. So robust for a beer this size and drinkable, a good reminder to all that not every beer has to test your palate to be good … it can just be good.

STYLE: English Bitter
ABV: 5.5%

LOOK: Bright deep amber, amazing looking head

SMELL: Herbal, woody, leafy, earthy, faint pine, mild hop resin, buttery, ripe fruit

TASTE: Smooth, malty, a bit creamy, caramel, bready, ripe pears, faintly buttery, balanced hop, light bitterness, very herbal, leafy, lightly spicy, woody, grassy, dry finish

Oct 29, 2014
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Aug 19, 2012
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oberon from North Carolina

3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

My first try of this eastern Washington brewery.Pours into an imperial nonic a rch clear amber with a billowing creamy light beige head atop that left one full ring of lace as it settled into a creamy mass.Aromas were very light with come caramel and dough notes,not much hop presence except for faint leafiness.A really creamy feel to the beer,low carbonation and it gldes down easily.Toffee and biscuit malts dominate the flavors,although sweet not to sweet,my problem is that there really isn't a real hop presence with again just a light leafiness in the finish.The look and feel are top notch,aroma and taste are average.

May 14, 2013
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Zraly from Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was purchased as a 22 ouncer. The bottle is your standard brown with a blue, green and pink-toned label with what is most likey Mt. Spokane as the backdrop for the label. Northern Lights Brewery assert that they use English, German, and American brewing methods to create "a hybrid beer of undeniably satisfying character."

The head didn't stay around long enough...but fret not (and the bubbles that did stay were big and beautiful). The left-over lace danced gracefully down the side of my glass. The color of this rich brew pours a deep amber with tones of brown in it. A real treat to look at.

As a whole, this is a very tasty, assertive beer. The initial notes hitting the nose are floral in nature. The flavor carries this onto the tongue, enveloped with a strong, caramel-malt gradation. It ends superbly clean with the exception of a faint hint of an odd "antiseptic" nuance. It very well may be a type of hop (flavor) I am not accustomed to. I also taste a trace of a yeasty hot biscuit-n-butter flavor. Pretty interesting dimensions in a lone beer.

I would have rated this beer much higher except for the odd, little flavor that emerges prior to the finish. That is the only critical point to be made about this ale. Because I wish to support the smaller brewers of the Great NW, and because I think this beer could grow on me...I'm going to buy it again.

Nov 30, 2002
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Reidrover from Oregon

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

According to the label this is a "hybrid beer"..lager conditioned and coldfiltered ..yet an "ale".
Comes in a 22 oz brown bomber.
A very nice looking beer, a dark garnet colour sort of hazy, a massive creamy tan coloured head that stays around.
The smell is rather subdued but it is fresh and malty.
Nice malt profiles hit the tongue first taste then the hoppiness can be discerned later..this beer finishes fast not too much after taste.
Nice , creamy and smooth mouthfeel.
Good drinkable beer from Spokane.

Sep 02, 2003
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Redrover from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Per the menu, this beer combines the best aspects of English, German & American brewing techniques. It is lagered and Cold Filtered.

The beer was served in a standard pint glass. It is a clear mahogany with minimal head and very nice lacing.

The aroma is slightly medicinal with a bit of herbs and pine.

The taste is slightly bitter and piney. The malts add a nice brown bread quality and the beer seems balanced.

The mouth achieves being both soft yet substantial. This is a very sessionable beer. This is one of their most popular offerings and 3 of the 4 people I saw getting growlers picked this beer.

Oct 28, 2005
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woemad from Washington

3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 1pt 6oz bottle at Huckleberry's (only place I've seen it sold in bottle).Has an ok head, with nice lacing. Brownish amber in color. Odor was citrusy with a little caramel - probably going to be hoppy. Hops are most noticable taste component, but there's a little caramel maltiness in the background. I'd have preferred it was a little more assertive in that regard. I wouldn't call this a great beer, but its still a pretty good bitter. Its also very local, so I just have to support it

Jul 01, 2003
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blurredline from Oregon

3/5  rDev -18.7%

Jun 16, 2013
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uturn from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

May 16, 2014
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Beaver13 from Colorado

3.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle. Pours slightly hazy ruby amber with a small off white head that quickly goes to a thin dusting that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sweet bready caramel malts with a little fruit and hops.

The flavor is sweet, nutty toffee and caramel malts with a medium bitter finish that balances it. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, this is one of the better ESBs I've had which is not usually a style I care for.

Feb 10, 2013
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RedDiamond from Oregon

3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Northern Lights’ ale and I’m clearly off to a good start. They serve ‘em a bit too cold here, but I haven’t yet acclimated to the dry eastside climate so I’ll make do with a bit of cold for now.

Crystal Bitter is billed as a hybrid of British, American, and German styles. It is cold filtered and lagered, resulting in a beer that boasts a lively kick of bitterness and refined clarity. The body is ruddy-bronze with a velvet head and low carbonation. The super abundance of hops leaves fine lace on the glass and a faint hop aroma. A slight malty flourish protrudes but the flavor is primarily defined by a zesty sting of bitterness that damn near reaches out and slaps you in the face. The lagering process has kept the beer clean enough to allow a bracing surge of bittering hops that still drinks well. Crystal otherwise approaches the threshold of being overly bittered, especially for an ESB.

Sep 07, 2007
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.66/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear copper capped by a nice ecru head that forms from a bubble show; good retention that leaves webbings of lace

Smell: Caramel verging on butterscotch buttressed by earthy hops

Taste: Earthy hop forward with the malts building underneath; caramel and nuts through the middle; some fruity elements appear, after the swallow, but the finish reveals considerable diacetyl

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: An interesting hybrid, clearly not a traditional ESB; I would like this more without the diacetyl

Apr 11, 2016
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rab53 from Washington

3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Sep 10, 2013
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ygtbsm94 from Utah

3/5  rDev -18.7%

Oct 23, 2013
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RJLarse from Washington

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a bomber of Northern Lights Crystal Bitter Ale at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a nut brown color with a red hue when held to the light, and is clear. A foamy one-finger, beige head forms which is somewhat resilient, but dissipates to a creamy thin film on the surface of the beer. The head produces moderate lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell is fairly mild but fruity. There are floral scents, citrus, and hops.

The initial taste is of malted grain, with a nutty cereal flavor. There is a mild hop finish, and a mildly bitter aftertaste.

Mouth feel is smooth and weighty, with very little carbonation.

This is a drinkable beer. According to the label it’s a “hybrid” beer, and I would agree it’s not what I would expect from a true English bitter. It’s darker and not as bitter as I expected, but a very nice brew just the same. I think Northern Lights Crystal Bitter would be a good fall and winter beer, and I’ll probably have it again some time.

Jun 18, 2006
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leedorham from Washington

4/5  rDev +8.4%

Jan 25, 2013
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Slatetank from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this at Wegman's in Hunt Valley, enjoyed chilled in a tulip pint from the 22oz.

The color is dark ruby with light hazed look with three fingers of tan head with fine bead. The smell is very good light scent of tart cherry with floral hop and mix of woodiness from the yeast and light caramel in the malt aroma. The interesting this is the beer is nothing like the aroma in feel with light bitter quality and mild alcohol with gentle fruity element and subtle spice as it finishes dry.

The bitter has a fruity flavor with slight herbal hop in the taste and mild woody note with a caramel character from the malt and gentle yeast with apple and lightly fruity tangy element with slight grassy flavor and spice from the hops. There is a backing toasted taste in the malt profile with light alcohol in the finish. Overall this is a very drinkable beer with mild tangy yeast flavor but not sour with a nice balance of hop and malt as expect in this style

Sep 21, 2014
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rangerred from Tennessee

3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic out of a 22oz bomber.

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown with a one finger off-white head. Reallyg great head retention and large clumps of lacing.

Lots of toffee and caramel in the aroma with some hints of dark fruit. Earthy hops sneak through along with a little bit of toast. No real faults but it is pretty weak all around.

Toffee and dark fruit in the taste along with a quick shot of alcohol. There is some hazelnut and toast with a touch of maple syrup. Some earthy hops in the background stay buried. Bitterness is on the moderate side and helps dry out the mouthfeel towards the finish.

Overall, a nice ESB but it lacks some of the fruity depth of some English examples. Nicely done but it doesn't blow me away.

May 05, 2013
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Talisker from California

3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased on a lark at Rocket Market on a trip to Spokane, WA.

The label description makes this sound like a Frankenstein beer with respect to style, but it holds together well. To my SF Bay Area palate, this is like a pleasant hybrid of Anderson Valley's Boont Amber and Anchor Steam.

Pours a deep reddish brown, medium-sized creme-colored head. Nose of very clean malt, sweet but not too sweet, not too dry, some slight pleasant dough. Taste is beautifully integrated - starts off sweet, but not at all cloying, sort of like a typical red ale. Turns a corner with some extraordinarily crisp English-style bitterness (is this the lagering?), maybe too much, since the sweetness doesn't really return on the finish, leaves a too-lingering dryness afterward.

But I like this beer. Would happily make it a regular drinker, like I already do Boont Amber and Anchor Steam. I'm now going to try to find out more about this brewery!

May 27, 2008
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tedho21 from Pennsylvania

2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Jan 22, 2014
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Bookseeb from Washington

3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first one from this brewery. Appearance is a dark brown amber with a nice stick around head, having fair lace. Smell of grainy light sweet malt. Taste is has a light grapefruit mild bitter, grainy malt that finishes a mild bitter sweet. mouthfeel has medium body with good carbonation. I am impressed with the head, it pretty much sticks around til the end. It's not a traditional bitter, but still a good local bitter.

Mar 11, 2010
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stampfler07 from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

May 28, 2013
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a straight pint glass. Poured a clean, clear, coppery amber color with an inch of khaki colored head that had very good retention and lacing.

The aroma was a nice blend of rich malts and some nicely balanced hops. The flavor was very similar, with the flavors of the malt and hops playing very nicely together.

The body was full, smooth and crisp. Drinkability was very good, easy and smooth. Overall, a very nice beer from a brewery that hasn't overly impressed me. Worth trying when you see it.

Jul 22, 2010
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Going towards the bitter side. Out of a 22 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

This is a reddish amber colored beer with hues of orange. There's a thick head which sits pretty on top and leaves a few strings of lace. The nose starts off with a hoppy note, with piney and lemon peel leading the way before the malt (caramel and toffee notes) contribute their share.

In the taste, Crystal Bitter Ale starts off malt forward. The background is hopped up, which helkps make this beer fun to drink. There's a good toffee crisp note and decent diacetyl action while in the back, there's clean citrus and piney notes. A little of the alcohol spills into the beer, adding a small distraction to the harmony, but despite that, the beer remains a joy. Its medium body with a lingering sweet and diacetyl aftertaste cap off this good American bitter.

Oct 24, 2012
Spin Cycle Red Ale from No-Li Brewhouse
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 136 ratings